Wednesday, May 16, 2012

City Center Las Vegas: The Crystals

Entrance to Crystals from the pedestrian bridge that connects to the
Cosmopolitan and Planet Hollywood.
Above Crystals are the Veer Towers.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
Boasting over 500,000 square feet, the Crystals shopping mall and entertainment district at City Center ups the ante to compete with similar ventures on the Las Vegas Strip with a collection of over 40 high-end shops and restaurants targeting those willing to spend top dollar for the very best.

The Forum Shops at Caesars (636,000 square feet, over 160 stores) still is tops among the largest shopping centers tied to a casino. Though Crystals is similar in size to the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian (500,000 square feet, over 140 stores), it has far less retailers. The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood (475,000 square feet, over 140 stores) is located adjacent to Crystals with a mix of more affordable stores. If you include malls not connected to a casino and hotel, the Fashion Show Mall rules the Strip (1,888,151 square feet, over 250 stores).

Sometimes it's nice to window shop and it's likely the average Las Vegas visitor will do just that at Crystals. Among the luxury stores at Crystals are: Bulgari, Cartier, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Versace. Many would find the dining options at Crystals more affordable. These include Todd English P.U.B. and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina.
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The ceiling reflects the unusual shaped buildings that is Crystals.
The shops of Crystals are located on two levels.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
Visitors walking south to City Center will not be able to avoid a stroll through Crystals. The pedestrian bridge that connects Planet Hollywood and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas leads into Crystals. At one end of the mall is an grand entrance to the Aria Resort & Casino. Even those taking the Aria Express to City Center will find the central stop is at Crystals.

I'm sorry I missed the opportunity to see the three galleries in Crystals. Those who admire the glass sculpture above the registration lobby at the Bellagio would want to visit a gallery featuring the work of artist Dale Chihuly. The other galleries features the works of photographer Rodney Lough Jr. and artist Richard MacDonald. This will definitely be a must thing to do upon a return visit to Vegas. Fans of the Bellagio fountains should stop by to gaze at two of five water features created by WET for City Center located in Crystals.

Crystals is bright and airy without the distractions of a theme that prevails at its competitors. The building that is Crystals has unique design elements (e.g. the Treehouse) that will make one take notice. Some may question if such a high-end shopping complex can succeed on the Las Vegas Strip. Some of these retailers have locations elsewhere in the city but they are mixed into a broader collection of shops. The concentration of stores will bring in those attracted to such similar central shopping attractions such as New York's 5th Avenue or Beverly Hill's Rodeo Drive. The unusual look of Crystals will bring in the average Las Vegas tourist with many of them just wanting to make their way to the Aria casino or showroom. Let's not forget the built in audience of guests and residents of the City Center's five buildings.

Crystals opened on December 3, 2009. Visit for more information. Hours: Sun-Thu 10am-11pm; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight.

Before the noon, the crowds at Crystals are sparse. Crowds should build
as visitors to Las Vegas awake from a late night of gambling and entertainment.
The Pods by Wolfgang Puck is a full-service coffee bar.
A touch of Las Vegas glitz on a stairway at Crystals.

The 80-foot-tall "Treehouse" houses the Mastro's Ocean Club Restaurant.
A grand exit on the Level 2 leads to the Aria Resort & Casino
A mix of real and artificial greenery and water features brighten the
surroundings of the shops at Crystals.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)


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